Actress Anna Nightingale has a string of credits to her name, and hit the big time when she was cast as Kim Tate's daughter-in-law Andrea in Emmerdale, joining the much-loved soap in 2019.
But when Anna sat down with OK! to reveal the news that she is expecting her second child with fiance Daren Dixon, she talked about the route that led to Emmerdale, including her stint at Britain's very own version of Fame – The Brit School – and the megastars she studied alongside.
"Amy Winehouse was the year above me, doesn’t get much bigger than that!" laughs Anna, 30.
But that's not all. For while the tragic singer-songwriter was ahead of Anna, another of Britain's biggest female music stars was poring over Shakespeare with the future actress.
"I definitely did some stuff with Adele, we were in the same class," reveals Anna, who is mum to four-year-old Autumn and pregnant with her second child.
She continued: "Adele, of all people. Sat reading books! We did English literature together."
And the good news for fans of Adele is that she was no diva in training as a teenager.
"She was just as she is now, real as anything," Anna says. "She was just as you see her now, just says it as it is, doesn’t care, but with a heart of gold as well. Fiercely loyal over her friends."
Not surprisingly, Anna's kept up with her former classmate's incredible career and enjoyed seeing how far she's come since their schooldays in Croydon.
"Even when I see her in interviews now I’m just like, “She’s not changed.” I’m sure she has her moments when she has to but she just seems like the same girl from London who I did English with."
Over the last two years Emmerdale has kept Anna busy, with a string of storylines including the collapse of Jamie and Andrea's marriage and the battle for their daughter Millie. And the drama is building ahead of Anna's screen departure to have her baby.
But when she is working again she'd love to revive the skills honed at The Brit School.
"I love music. I love singing," she says. "I trained in musical theatre and definitely decided early on I was not going to be a dancer, I’m just not trained enough.
"The level of talent with those performers is crazy. But give me a role with acting, singing and movement any day and I’d bite your hand off. I love them."
And having spent a couple of years working alongside one of soap's greatest ever bad girls – Claire King as Kim Tate – Anna admits she'd love a stage role as a sassy strong woman.
She concludes: "Any of the roles in Chicago, basically. Any excuse to wear fishnets, stilettos and sing about homicidal tendencies! And in terms of TV, I love a gritty drama.
"Anything with Maxine Peake. I’ve worked with her before, she is basically up there with the Claire Kings of the world. They say don’t meet your heroes but fortunately between Maxine Peake and Claire King, I’ve managed to disprove that theory!"
Read Anna's full interview – and see all the beautiful pictures from her OK! shoot – here. For more soap andTV gossip, sign up to OK! newsletters here.
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